Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Eco Emi Box - December 2014 - Full review

Hi friends,

Even though I just went through a drastic declutter of my cosmetics and skin care products (you can watch it here), I am continuing both my Eco Emi and my Ipsy Glam Bag subscriptions. I find both to be providing me enough new items, on a monthly basis, to try and satisfy my need for variety. Eco Emi in particular, is one of my favorite boxes to receive monthly. While the company had a few months in 2014 were the boxes were lame at best, I am truly glad I stuck with the program. The past 6 have been phenomenal and December 2014 truly was a treat.

Eco Emi  - December 2014
Eco Emi, which is normally $15 per month, is now offering different types of boxes which you may check out on their website, they also have one time box purchase option a well as a Deluxe box with full size items only. In other words, the company, which focuses on eco friendly and cruelty free products, is expanding, and THAT is a good thing!

Check out other boxes by Eco Emi

Here is my featured video for the December 2014 box, you may want to check it out prior to reading my full review of all the products I received:

1.  Element - Strawberry and Cream Rice Cake - $32 / 16 packs (2 rice cake per pack)

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"Strawberries'n'Cream-coated rice cakes are made with Italian fresh fruit and vegetable concentrate, natural vanilla and non-GMO Italian rice. Crunch happy knowing that your gluten-free treat is naturally nurturing. No GMOs, no hydrogenated or trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no yeast, no preservatives." (Quoted from Element Website).
I love anything strawberry and was pretty psyched about receiving this sample. These rice cakes are covered with a strawberry and cream frosting, leaving the rice cake blah behind. They are actually low in calorie, making them a good snack alternative for those of us struggling with snack attacks. I thought they were pretty good, the frosting giving it enough BAM to make it not feel like a diet food. Elements provides other flavors such as chocolate or vanilla, in case Strawberry is not your thing. I was pleased with this sample. I am usually underwhelmed with food items provided in my Eco Emi box, but this one was good. My only con: the rice cakes are produced in Italy and I would have liked for the company to be supporting American farming. They are also a tad expensive at $1 per rice cake!  B+.

2. Bakery on Main - Blueberry Scone Instant Oatmeal - $5.99 / 6 packs

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 "Satisfy your craving for a coffee house scone with a savory bowl of our Blueberry Scone Instant Oatmeal. This breakfast treat won't let you down with pieces of real blueberries, chia and flax meal and our favorite ancient grains, Amaranth and Quinoa. " (Quoted from Bakery on Main website).
 Blueberry scones (or any type of scones for that matter) are some of my favorite treats when I visit my local bookstore. Here is another food item I was very excited to try. First, and unlike the Element rice cake mentioned above, these assorted instant oatmeals ( a total of 6 distinctive flavors) are produced and packaged here in the US! This is a Mom & Pop business that has been growing out of awareness of Celiac disease and now producing all gluten free cereals. I found this oatmeal to be easy to prepare with hot water and a few seconds in the microwave. It came out thick and very filling. The flavor I received (Blueberry Scone) was also very good, not overpowering like other flavored oatmeals, it lingered for a while and smelled delicious. This is another good snack alternative for the diet conscious. Really liked this. A.

3. Snack Out Loud - Jalapeno Beans- $15.99 / 8 packs

"Snack Out Loud is a deliciously crunchy snack that is full of flavor, fun to eat, and made with simple, all natural ingredients. Similar in shape and texture to roasted nuts, our crunchy beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, plus they are also a natural source of vitamins and minerals." (Quoted from Amazon retailer).
This was an interesting thing to try. I am not a big fan of nuts as a snack, I never found them to be particularly filling. These were very dry and brittle unlike peanuts for instance. The flavor I received (Jalapeno) was a bit too spicy for my taste but my husband enjoyed them. They would not be my first choice and so I thought they were just okay. They are also pricey for what they are. B-.


4. Kelapo - Virgin Coconut Oil - $7.99 / 10 packets

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"Harvested from exclusive coconut palms in Sri Lanka, this 100% organic, trans fat free oil can be used as an all-natural, flavorful, and energy packed, butter alternative." (Quoted from kelapo website).
 Kelapo is the only brand of coconut oil I use. I am therefore very familiar with this product. Having been using a huge jar for the past year, I was unaware the company was also providing this miracle oil in single packs. It makes it very convenient for travel. I do not use Kelapo Coconut Oil for cooking, instead, I use it as a skin care and in particular face cream. Coconut oil is very moisturizing and does wonders on wrinkles. I always said that if given the choice of using only one product on my face, I would use coconut oil. I find that it not only moisturizes, it also evens out my skin tone and never leaves my face with a greasy residue. This is an outstanding product and one I strongly recommend. A+.

4. Shea Radiance - Moisturizing Hair Milk - $16/ 8 oz

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"Get easy comb-outs,responsive curls and love-to-touch conditioned hair. Our Moisturizing Hair Milk is nothing like you have ever tried before. This light and weightless spritz conditioner softens, detangles and eliminates frizz. It leaves curls soft and smooth, just the way you like it." (Quoted from Shea Radiance website).
 If you have watched my open box video, you know how excited I was about receiving this product. One of my very first Eco Emi box (back in 2013) contained a Shea Radiance Hair milk which I fell in love with and ultimately led me to purchase a full size bottle.  I loved everything about the product, from the smell ( a tad exotic) to the results (a complete control of my otherwise out of control frizzy hair). When I opened this December box, I had expressed concerned that the company may have changed the formula. I certainly did not recognize the bottle. The scent, though at first appeared to be the same, has been changed too. This one is more of a citrus scent as opposed to the deep nut and shea butter scent of the original. While it did provide good control over my frizz, I did not feel this version of Shea Radiance was as good as the original one I had received. In other words, I was disappointed. I am not sure why the company chose to change a perfectly good product and while I gave it an A+ in my original review back in the days, this one is only receiving a B+. I will not re purchase it as it is not the same.

5. Ocean Elements - Sheer Daily Moisture Spf 30 Moisturizer -   $48 / 3 oz

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"Keep your skin hydrated and protected every day with this gentle, effective marine-based moisturizer with SPF 30 that looks and feels great. Formulated for sensitive skin, Ocean Elements reduces damage from daily sun exposure while nourishing your skin with a host of natural moisturizers, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The smooth, matte finish is perfect alone or under makeup." (Quoted from Ocean Elements Website)

I do not know what it is with me and SPF moisturizers, I simply do not care for them. I really wanted this one to work since it claims to be mattifying. I did not like the formula, I felt that it was not absorbing well for my combination skin and continued to feel the cream on top of my skin throughout the day. Maybe it is psycho somatic, I am not sure, but really did not care for this. That being said, if you like this type of product, I liked the scent, which is very faint as well as the fact it is loaded with marine elements. I am just not sure how much of these actually get absorbed through your skin in time prior to being washed away at the sink. C+.

6. Mineral Hygienics - Mineral Blush in Promenade Pink - $18/ jar

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"A sheer blush that is also a crowd favorite. A light to medium shade. Promenade Pink is a delicate blush for that can provide the perfect look." (Quoted from Mineral Hygienics website).
Here is another example as to why you cannot judge a book by its cover. I first was very put off by the brand's name. When I think "hygienic", I am thinking intimate hygiene and other cleanliness related products. I surely would not associate the name with makeup. However, I received this full sized product and instantly fell in love with it. The formula, a powder mineral blush, comes in a jar that has a sifter (think BareMinerals as it is very similar). The color, Promenade pink is that perfect pink hue to give your cheeks a baby flush that is not only feminine but goes very well with  fair skin tones. I have been reaching out for this blush every day since receiving it! So now, I am intrigued and want to try other products within the brand, including other blush shades and eye shadows (this one in particular). Forgot to mention, these are Made in the USA! A+.

7. BWC (Beauty Without Cruelty) AHA Facial Cleanser -  $11.95 / 8.5 oz

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"AHA Facial Cleanser is a lightly-foaming, soap-free cleanser that removes
dead surface skin cells, daily impurities, and excess oil without over-cleaning
your skin. Natures own alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) gently and
deeply clean and actively clarify your skin without disturbing its natural
balance. Pure premium Oshadi aroma-therapeutic essential oils tone, condition,
and calm-leaving your skin clean, clear, and refreshed." (Quoted from BWC website).
 I like BWC as a brand. I remember receiving a shampoo and conditioner combo from Eco Emi a while back, and thought these were good products. Unfortunately for me, they are not readily available in my area, I think that Whole Food Market is the only store that carries that brand where I live and do not go there often enough for me to make a mental note of purchasing an item from them  or looking at the other ranges. That being said, I was very pleased with this product. My first interest was as to whether it would work well with my Mia 2 cleansing brush, and it did. It does not foam so much that your brush is creating suds all over your face. I felt that it removed my makeup well and did not sting my eyes. The deluxe/travel size I received was also good enough to last me an entire week and therefore plenty time to truly experience the product. It is non drying and smells pleasant enough. It is a good product but I cannot say I would rush to purchase this for my daily routine, it is not the holy grail of face cleansers and I only wish it would come as a cream formula rather than a clear gel, it's just a personal preference of mine. B+.


So there you have it, an excellent box indeed, it is rare that I provide high ratings for so many items received in one box.I really love my Eco Emi subscription and as mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I am very glad that I stuck with the subscription and did not cancel when the boxes were becoming lame this time last year! Thank you Eco Emi team for yet another great box!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my YouTube videos! Share the love!

Sophia, NJ

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PO Box 402
519 Pompton Avenue
CEDAR GROVE, NJ 07009-9998

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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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